Banks to Lowman road re-opens, residents find another route

Credit: Zach Stotland/ KTVB

Banks to Lowman road re-opens, residents find another route

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 6, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 6 at 11:16 PM

BOISE COUNTY -- Boise County Road Department crews have cleared multiple mudslides on Highway 17 or otherwise known as the Banks to Lowman Highway.

At roughly 7:30 p.m. dump trucks were able to haul enough debris away from the road to allow drivers to pass through. It was just about 24 hours earlier that the slides struck. 

“They have been hitting it pretty hard, and it’s looking really good,” said Chuck Murphy, Assistant Superintendent of the Boise County Road Department.

There was mud and dirt to move away from the roadway and even large boulders slid down the hillside and into the way of traffic.

Meanwhile, the hill where the earth gave way stands bare.

However Murphy knew a mudslide like this one could happen. With a flash flood warning issued earlier in the week and a tumultuous fire season leftover from the summer, slides along the road were not a surprise.

“It finally turned loose," added Murphy. "We figured it might.”

It’s not only been a challenge for the road crews. Residents of Boise County know the Banks to Lowman road as one that connects one side of their county to another.

George Schroeder spoke with KTVB as he was heading to his cabin in Garden Valley, but Friday before the road re-opened, his route had to change.

“So we thought about it got a mile out and turned around and came back,” said Schroeder.

His family was forced to turn around on Highway 55 after asking for some direction from the locals. They used Harris Creek Road that connects to Alder Creek Road,and finally the highway to Garden Valley.

“Probably 30 minutes, it’s pretty bad,” said Schroeder. “It’s understandable, and the rain we got, it’s understandable,”

According to Murphy, it’s also not a cheap fix. He predicts the cost to clear the road is a figure in the neighborhood of $1000 a day.

“It’s costly, and with us we have a short budget, and we are having financial budgets so we don’t need any more of this,” explained Murphy.

He hopes the heavy rains can hold off.

“It’s going to take a few years, you know, vegetation is going to have to grow back,” said Murphy.

There is still some mud and debris along the shoulders of Highway 17 in the areas of mile markers 2, 3 and 5. Murphy warns drivers to be cautious and they moved through the area.








 

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